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  • A great success!

Helen was extremely lucky to have gone on an agent trip to Russia recently. This is what she had to say –

“I have worked in the travel industry for many years and have traveled to some amazing countries and when I was offered a trip to visit Moscow and St Petersburg with Regent Holidays , I knew I had to go and see what this fascinating country had to offer.

The visa process was (surprisingly) relatively easy! I completed the application form online and printed it.  Along with the relevant paper work that Regent Holidays had sent me and my passport,  I went to Manchester for my finger prints to be taken which sounds daunting but in reality was very quick, efficient & easy.  They then send the application to the Russian Embassy in London and within five working days my passport was back – I was in!

A guide is essential in Moscow. He provided us with the necessary information and a great insight into the history of this amazing city. He also assisted with the language barrier!

Highlights in Moscow included –

1 – Saint Basil’s Cathedral

2- The Kremlin – I visited the Armoury chamber which now displays some of the Faberge eggs and religious icons

3- Moscow’s metro stations

We then took the Sapsan fast train to St Petersburg which took four hours and had a three night stay. St Petersburg caters more for tourists and many people speak English. There, the bars and cafes have menus in English which you won’t find in Moscow.

My highlights in St Petersburg were –

1 -St Isaac’s Cathedral – a viewing tower looks over the city

2- Catherines Palace

3 -Hermitage Museum

The two palaces show the wealth and opulence of bygone Kings and Queens.

If you are wanting a city break which is rich in history and full of attractions, you will not be disappointed. These are two cities that I will never forget!”


The weather has turned now and the Homeless are in desperate need of the following –
Sleeping bags
Waterproof outer clothing
Pop up tents
Roll mats
Coats, hats, gloves, thick socks, boots.
If you have any of these items to spare, PLEASE PLEASE bring them down to Spa Travel & we will make sure that they are given directly to the people who need them.
Huge thanks, it’s very much appreciated & your donation will make someone’s life a whole lot better.

Jackie & Helen were extremely lucky to be invited on an agents trip with Hebridean Island Cruises. This was their experience –

“As soon as the invite came in, we knew what a privilege this would be and were very excited. This product is known to be very special and it did not disappoint!

For anyone not wanting to fly or nervous about travelling alone, it could not be better. You simply get a train (direct York to Glasgow in our case) where you are met and taken to the ship. From the moment you step on board the Hebridean Princess, it feels like a very homely country house hotel. The décor reflects this and the staff could not be more welcoming and friendly.

Our cabin was spacious with all amenities (including Molton Brown products) and during the 2 day trip we got to see most of the cabins & suites which were all lovely. Unusually, there are a lot of single cabins and they do not charge a huge surcharge that other companies sometimes do. In fact, these cruises are perfect for the single traveller. Firstly, you only have a train journey to negotiate and from then on you are treated like a VIP! The restaurant has mostly tables for 2 (which is rare) apart from the large tables for the single travellers who are sat together and entertained by the captain & officers. The food was wonderful and the wine extremely good. The whole trip is fully inclusive, you will literally only pay for any items bought in the shop! All food, premium drinks including champagne, gratuities, excursions, entrance fees, guides & guest speakers, bicycles, internet, transfers or car parking are included. The excursions are hand-picked and special, for example we were taken to Mount Stewart House which was opened specifically for us and we enjoyed a private tour which included rooms & exhibits that are not available to the general public. This is the regard for Hebridean Cruises!

We absolutely loved our 2 night trip and can see why nearly 70% of passengers are repeat guests. It was recently featured on TV in a documentary with Richard Wilson but even better than that, HRH The Queen and royal family have taken a private charter of her twice! What better recommendation is there?!

It is not at all ‘stuffy’ though as the incredible staff ensure that the atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming, & congenial. You would be among friends in no time!

We’ll be honest, you do need a certain level of mobility as it is an old ship so has steep & narrow staircases but as long as you can get yourself up the gangway onto & off of the ship you could book a cabin on the main deck to avoid the stairs.

These cruises are not cheap but you must consider what is included and the level of service you receive. It would be the most special way to celebrate a big birthday or anniversary. You would certainly never forget it!

Hebridean Island Cruises not only sail the Scottish islands but also offer European river cruises, Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, Norway, France and Belgium and they do short duration taster cruises if you want to see what it’s all about before booking a longer holiday.

We cannot express enough how impressed we were and what a wonderful experience this was so if you’d like to know more, please give us a call or pop in. We will be holding a client presentation early next year too, so if you think you or someone you know may be interested, please let us know and we will make sure they are on the guest list.”

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